Two boot camp instructors are facing criminal charges after allegedly
abusing juveniles participating in the leadership and self-discipline
Edgar Alvarado, 36, and Ruben Romero, 21, are charged with abuse
crimes that allegedly occurred at the "Recon 180" training facility
known as Camp Coulter in the Angeles National Forest, as well as at the
company's East L.A. headquarters. A release says the camp "is geared
towards instilling leadership and self-discipline for teenagers through a
paramilitary structured setting." A former Marine, Alvarado owns the
camp, which has been in operation since 2008. Romero works as a camp
instructor. The alleged 11 victims—nine males and two females—ranged in
age from 12 to 17 and were all considered troubled.
reports that the kids were kidnapped from their homes in the middle of
the night and were "hit, kicked and dragged." Some of the kids were
hospitalized with serious life-threatening injuries, and one of the
females was allegedly sexually abused. The parents consented to the
kidnappings, but they reportedly had no idea just how violent the camp
Alvarado's charges involve five alleged victims: three felony counts
of child abuse and one felony count each of corporal injury to a child
and sexual battery by restraint. One of the two females claims
inappropriately touched her.
Romero's charges involve three alleged victims: three misdemeanor counts of battery.
While Alvarado has pleaded not guilty and remains jailed on $405,000
bail, Romero has pleaded not guilty and is free on his own recognizance.
Alvarado's next court appearance is set for March 28; Romero's is April
Though previous investigations have been conducted on the camp, no
charges have ever been made until now. Detectives believe there may be
more victims and have asked anyone with information to call call the
sheriff's Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-LASD.